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The Jon Spencer Blues Explosion



New York City's postmodern skuzz-blues impresario Jon Spencer has been deconstructing and reconstructing rock and roll clich's with the help of guitarist Judah Bauer and drummer Russell Simins for the better part of a decade now. He's been doing it ever since the breakup of his old band, the legendary trash-punk superheroes (or supervillains, depending on your perspective) Pussy Galore, whose other members went on to form Royal Trux and Boss Hog.

Even after a brief, superficial listen to the Blues Explosion you'll realize that Spencer's blues bears little resemblance to the blues of, say, Robert Johnson or Howlin' Wolf, but then that's not really the pond Spencer's fishing from. For him, the blues is the down and dirty, hot and sweaty, dirty-old-man sound of guys like R.L. Burnside (who has played with the Blues Explosion on occasion) and Andre Williams. Make what you will of the band's name, what they really do is take traditional blues, soul, funk, hip hop, and bloated rock, slice and dice them all into a nasty-good musical stew, add lots of whiskey and irony, and shove the whole mess down your throat. You might lose it a little, start stumbling around like you're drunk, muttering, "the blues is number one, the blues is number one..."

On the song "Blues Explosion Attack," Spencer and Co. get crazy in the house of Olympia's chief indie oddball (and Blues Explosion buddy) Calvin Johnson, frontman of Dub Narcotic Sound System.